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Fact Sheet: Harvey Recovery: A Community Effort

Release date: 
September 10, 2017
Release Number: 

Austin, Texas – In order for an area to recover from a storm like Hurricane Harvey, it takes more than just the government: it takes the whole community.

By working together, Texans can help keep their communities safe and strong.

The whole community includes:

  • Individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs who can contribute to their own recovery in addition to that of their families and neighbors.
  • Citizens who contribute by:
    • Taking time to understand emergency needs of their communities before disaster occurs.
    • Volunteering with established organizations.
    • Taking direction and responding reasonably to alerts, warnings and other public emergency information.
  • Voluntary organizations contribute by:
    • Training and managing volunteer resources.
    • Identifying shelter locations and supplies needed for recovery.
    • Providing goods to those in need such as: cleaning supplies, clothing, food, shelter and post disaster clean-up.
    • Identifying survivors with unmet needs and finding assistance to meet those needs.
  • Businesses and Private Industry contribute by:
    • Providing technical assistance to restore utilities and engineering services to rebuild stronger.
    • Working with emergency management personnel to find out what resources may be needed and how they can help.
    • Providing assistance (including volunteers) to support communities during a disaster and throughout the recovery process.

If you want to help survivors and communities in your state, but aren’t sure where to start, visit the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (VOAD) at or Texas VOAD at for a list of partners active in disaster or register your interest to volunteer at

If you and your family cannot live in your flooded home and need a place to stay, download the FEMA mobile app and look under Disaster Resources for a list of nearby shelters. Or call 800-REDCROSS (733-2767). During a humanitarian crisis, the American Red Cross (ARC) provides food, comfort and shelter to those who need it—without regard to race, religion or citizenship status.

If you haven’t yet applied for federal assistance, the fastest way to do so is online at

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59